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Lyme Disease Blog

Related terms: Chronic Lyme Disease

Prevent Tick Bites While Enjoying the Outdoors

Posted 1 day 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 13, 2014 – With spring's arrival, many Americans will begin enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening – and they need to protect themselves from tick bites, an expert says. "There aren't any vaccines for tick-borne diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, so the only way to prevent infection is to not get bitten in the first place," Dr. Christopher Ohl, a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a Wake Forest news release. Ohl, who is also the medical director of communicable diseases for the Forsyth County, N.C. Health Department, offered the following tips: Use an insect repellant containing DEET on exposed skin, and treat clothing and footwear with a permethrin-based repellant that provides weeks of protection and remains through several washings. Tuck your pants ... Read more

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U.S. Lyme Disease Cases Vastly Underreported: CDC

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 19 – About 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, which is about 10 times higher than the number of cases reported each year to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report. The findings are from three ongoing CDC studies that are using different methods to determine the number of Americans diagnosed with the tick-borne disease each year. One study is analyzing six years of annual medical claims information from about 22 million people, another is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third is an analysis of self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public. More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the nation. However, these new findings suggest that this figure is well below the actual number of ... Read more

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New Tick-Borne Illness May Be Misdiagnosed

Posted 1 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 1 – Physicians say a new kind of tick-borne infection that's similar to Lyme disease can mislead doctors into thinking it's a different condition. Borrelia miyamotoi can cause flu-like symptoms that are similar to Lyme disease, researchers found. "In the few case reports available for patients in the U.S., symptoms of B. miyamotoi infection have included fever, fatigue, body aches, joint pain and headache," said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of clinical parasitology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Pritt was not involved in the research. Researchers also think infection may cause dementia in the elderly, especially those who have conditions that weaken the immune system. Lab tests also show low blood platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes, Pritt said. However, scientists have developed a blood test that detects signs of the disease, and the infection has been fairly ... Read more

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Tick Safety Tips for Kids at Summer Camp

Posted 30 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 29 – When children head off to outdoor camps this summer, they need to be protected from ticks and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, experts say. Youngsters aged 5 to 14 have the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the United States, according to the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA). Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks, which are found in many types of settings at outdoor summer camps, including woodlands, lawns and playing fields, tree stumps and picnic tables. "Deer ticks are cesspools of disease, and they put your children at risk of contracting Lyme disease and many other potentially debilitating diseases such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis, bartonella, tularemia and mycoplasma," Bob Oley, a public health consultant with the group, said in an alliance news release. "These microscopic bugs pose an enormous threat to our children, who are especially ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Babesiosis

Study Debunks Lyme Disease-Autism Link

Posted 30 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 30 – A new study failed to find any evidence to back up a suggested association between Lyme disease and autism spectrum disorders. Although a prevalence of Lyme disease as high as 20 percent (or even higher) has been reported in children with autism, the new research found no cases of Lyme disease in children when testing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was done. Health experts are concerned that if parents suspect that Lyme disease has played a role in their child's autism, they may seek treatment with long-term antibiotic therapy. "Unless a child has been diagnosed with Lyme disease or another infectious disease, our findings don't support the idea of putting autistic children on antibiotics," said study senior author Armin Alaedini, an assistant professor of medical sciences in the department of medicine and the Institute of Human ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Lyme Disease

Deer Ticks Carry Yet Another Bacterial Threat

Posted 16 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 – People who go outdoors in several regions of the United States may have something else to worry about. Scientists report that there's another troublesome germ hiding in the deer tick that already harbors the Lyme disease bacterium. There are indications that the germ infects a few thousand Americans a year, potentially causing flu-like symptoms such as fever. In one newly reported case, a woman with existing medical problems appeared to have brain swelling and dementia caused by an infection. It is not clear, however, how serious of a threat may be posed by the germ. For the moment, Lyme disease appears to be much more prevalent. And four other germs that affect humans lurk in deer ticks. Still, scientists say the germ is cause for concern. "This would not be commonly picked up by any of the current tests for Lyme disease," said Victor Berardi, co-author of one of ... Read more

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Lyme Rash Reappearance Probably Signals New Infection, Study Says

Posted 14 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 – If you've had Lyme disease in the past and you develop another bull's-eye rash – the hallmark of Lyme disease – you probably have a new infection rather than a relapse of your initial infection, according to a small new study. One implication of the study might be that since people don't suffer relapses from Lyme infection, it's not necessary to treat them with long-term antibiotics as a preventive measure. For people whose symptoms do recur, it's especially likely that it's from a new infection if the rash shows up in a different site than the initial infection. It's also especially likely to be a new infection if it occurs during the prime tick season, which is from late spring through the summer, the study authors said. "When people take the relatively short course of antibiotics that are ... recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the ... Read more

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Tick-Borne Illnesses in U.S. Move Beyond Lyme Disease

Posted 12 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 12 – A tick-borne disease that causes symptoms similar to malaria is becoming more widespread in the northeastern United States, researchers say. Babesiosis invades red blood cells and is carried by deer ticks, which also carry Lyme disease. Between 2000 and 2008, towns in Connecticut reporting cases of babesiosis increased from 30 to 85, according to the researchers. Since babesiosis was first reported in Connecticut in 1991, cases in the state have risen from three to about 100 a year. Symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, sweats, headache and muscle pain. The study's findings were scheduled to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in Atlanta. "Today's findings underscore the shifting landscape of tick-borne diseases, whose rapid emergence can challenge the best efforts of science and medicine to diagnose, ... Read more

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Yet Another Tick-Borne Illness Emerges in U.S.

Posted 29 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 – Scientists have identified a new tick-borne illness in the United States – which hospitalized two men in Missouri – adding to the steadily creeping number of diseases known to be transmitted by various species of the seed-sized parasites. In a new study, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the new "phlebovirus," a distant cousin to one recently identified in China, was likely carried on the lone star tick and caused severe symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, weight loss and low blood-cell counts. Experts aren't sure whether more tick-borne illnesses are emerging or whether having better tests to identify them account for the increase observed. In addition to the well-known Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, other conditions passed by ticks in the United States include babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Babesiosis

Map Shows Where in U.S. to Beware of Lyme Disease

Posted 3 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 – Areas in the United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease are pinpointed in a new map created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases in North America. It's transferred by ticks and symptoms range from headaches, fever and a rash to arthritis and Bell's palsy, or damage to a facial nerve that can lead to temporary paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. The map shows that high infection risk is confined mainly to the Northeast and upper Midwest. There is a low risk in the South. The map shows a clear risk of Lyme disease in large parts of the Northeast (including eastern Pennsylvania) from Maine going as far south as Maryland and northern Virginia. The high risk area in the upper Midwest includes most of Wisconsin, a large part of northern ... Read more

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Tracking Lyme Disease in Dogs May Help Protect Humans

Posted 10 Aug 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10 – Tracking Lyme disease infections in dogs may help scientists predict possible outbreaks of the tick-borne illness in humans, government researchers report. Since dogs are also susceptible to Lyme disease, they can be a good indicator of the risk of human infection, the scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. When blood tests show that few dogs in a given area carry the bacteria, the risk to people is relatively low, they noted. Conversely, when more dogs test positive for Lyme, people may be at increased risk, they noted. "Public health authorities could use this to assess and evaluate changes in their region," said Dr. Gary P. Wormser, chief of infectious diseases at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. "This could be of help in understanding the risk areas for humans." The report, released Aug. 10, ... Read more

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New Tick-Borne Illness Infects Midwesterners

Posted 3 Aug 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3 – First they spread Lyme disease, and then babesiosis. Now, deer ticks carrying a newly identified bacterium are infecting residents of the midwestern United States with a disease called ehrlichiosis, and experts say it will likely appear in other areas of the country. The still unnamed bacterium, which causes fever, body aches and fatigue, has been identified in 25 people in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but has probably infected many more, researchers said in a new study. "So far we have tested thousands of patients from around the United States, and we have only found it in the blood of patients from Wisconsin and Minnesota," said lead researcher Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology and Virology Laboratories at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "We have also found it in ticks. Specifically, in the ticks called Ixodes scapularis, also known as the ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis

Spinal Fluid May Hold Clues to Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted 24 Feb 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 – An analysis of proteins in spinal fluid can help distinguish patients with Lyme disease from those with chronic fatigue syndrome, a new study reports. It also appears that both diseases, which can cause similar symptoms, involve the central nervous system and that protein abnormalities in the central nervous system are causes and/or effects of both conditions, said the research team, which was led by Dr. Steven E. Schutzer, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School, and Richard D. Smith, of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In the study, the investigators analyzed spinal fluid from 43 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), 25 people who had been diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease, but did not completely recover (neurologic post-treatment Lyme disease, or nPTLS), and 11 healthy people. The researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Lyme Disease

Scientists Identify Molecular Blueprint for Lyme Disease

Posted 12 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 – Scientists have determined the genetic structures of 13 strains of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, an achievement that could speed efforts to diagnose, prevent and treat the disease. The occurrence of Lyme disease – which can harm the nervous system, heart, skin and joints – has grown dramatically over the past 10 years in the United States and Europe. The disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. "A driving force for doing this project was the observation that certain forms of the bacteria can be more invasive than others. We wanted to find out why and how to identify this properly," Dr. Steven E. Schutzer, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ), said in a UMDNJ news release. Even though the cause of Lyme disease has been known for 27 years, there still is no vaccine for humans. "The field ... Read more

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Review Panel Leaves Controversial Lyme Disease Guidelines Unchanged

Posted 22 Apr 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 22 – After more than a year of study, a specially appointed panel at the Infectious Diseases Society of America has decided that controversial guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease are correct and need not be changed. The guidelines, first adopted in 2006, have long advocated for the short-term (less than a month) antibiotic treatment of new infections of Lyme disease, which is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacteria transmitted to humans via tick bites. However, the guidelines have also been the focus of fierce opposition from certain patient advocate groups that believe there is a debilitating, "chronic" form of Lyme disease requiring much longer therapy. The IDSA guidelines are important because doctors and insurance companies often follow them when making treatment (and treatment reimbursement) decisions. The new review was sparked by an investigation ... Read more

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Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Infections

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